SRINAGAR: Building up the tension to India’s Independence Day in Kashmir, a pre-dawn gun battle in Batamaloo led to the killing of a policeman, injuries to another policeman, two CRPF troopers, and to the owner of the house where five militants were hiding, two of whom the police arrested and three of whom escaped, on Sunday.
ADGP Law and Order Muneer Ahmed Khan told reporters that the encounter started between 3:30am and 4am, after government forces received “specific input” of presence of militants in Derwani locality of Batamaloo. He said that during the search, militants opened fire and a gun battle ensued.
“A jawan of ours was martyred while three others were injured. The owner of the house was injured, too,” Khan said. “A group of five militants was hiding in the house. Two of them have been arrested and they are providing inputs that are being used to carry forward our investigation.”
A wreath-laying ceremony was held for slain policeman Parvaiz Ahmad at District Police Lines Srinagar. A police spokesperson said the slain cop was a resident of village Dandote in Tehsil Budhal, Rajouri district.
Khan did not share details about the arrested militants. He said the house was a major hideout of the militants in Srinagar, but which has now been busted.
Kashmir Range Inspector General of Police (IGP) Swayam Prakash Pani also did not say to which outfit the militants belonged. He said two important “accomplices” of the militants had been arrested.
The encounter site is just meters away from the Civil Secretariat Srinagar, and from the spot where a CRPF man was killed by militants some days ago. This area has huge presence of government forces round the clock. In the past few days, the forces have erected temporary bunkers and have been frisking automobiles as part of security measures ahead of August 15, Independence Day.
The Special Operations Group (SOG) of police assisted by paramilitary CRPF had conducted the cordon and search operation (CASO) in Derwani locality of Batamaloo today.
Muneer Khan said that Derwani is a dense residential area where “collateral damage” was mostly likely, but the discipline exercised by government forces prevented it. He said police did a commendable job in preventing militants from having a base in the city.